In the summer of 1974, in a small neighborhood in Saginaw, Michigan, my dad and our neighbor decided to connect their driveways by paving over a muddy patch of land that was already being used for parking. After the new pad was poured, leveled and smoothed, Dad let my sister, brother and me write our names in it. Carrie, Chris and Curt 1974. It would endure forever.
Nearly 40 years later, I’m standing in that exact spot. I bend down, brush some loose dirt and a stray leaf aside, and I see that our names have become nearly unrecognizable. Time has weathered away the mark we made. It won’t be long before the letters completely vanish. The moment is not lost on me. I am a man now, older than my dad was the day he put a stick in my hand and said, “Go ahead kids, write your names.” Just as water flows downhill, time moves forward and the definition of what is past, present and future continually changes.
As I stared onto the driveway, I am eight years old again. Our names in the cement become strong and clear before my eyes. I look up and Dad is mowing the lawn with one of those push mowers with no engine, Mom is planting flowers in the flower bed under the kitchen window, and all the neighborhood kids are in the middle of the street playing kick ball. One of them yells, “CAR!” and they scatter to the curb like bugs. I look back at our names and they’re faded again and I am not a kid anymore.
At first, I am saddened by this. Seeing our names disappear feels like a death. But as I walked back to my car, I turned around one last time, facing our old house and I realized that my father handed me a stick. He told me to make a mark. And I did. I think it’s what God wants for me too. I think He wants that of all of us. Only the mark He wants us to leave cannot weather away, cannot fade over time.
Ask Him what that means for you. And make your mark.